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The Chinese Nationality Law (CNL) of the People's Republic of China has provided for the acquisition of Chinese nationality by way of naturalisation. Here you can learn about the stipulated requirements under the CNL, the factors to be considered in an application, how to submit an application and what will happen afterwards.

Who Can Apply

You can apply for naturalisation as a Chinese national if you meet the requirements laid down in Articles 7 and 8 of the Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China.

Article 7

Foreign nationals or stateless persons who are willing to abide by China’s constitution and laws and who meet one of the following conditions may be naturalised upon approval of their applications:

  • They are near relatives of Chinese nationals;
  • They have settled in China; or
  • They have other legitimate reasons.

Article 8

Any person who applies for naturalisation as a Chinese national shall acquire Chinese nationality upon approval of his application; a person whose application for naturalisation as a Chinese national has been approved shall not retain foreign nationality.

Further information on the CNL and the “Explanations” concerning its implementation in HKSAR can be accessed through the following link.

Factors to be Considered in an Application

Each application for naturalisation as a Chinese national will be considered on its own merits but consideration will be given to:

  • whether you have a near relative who is a Chinese national with the right of abode in Hong Kong
  • whether you have the right of abode in Hong Kong
  • whether your habitual residence is in Hong Kong
  • whether the principal members of your family (spouse and minor children) are in Hong Kong
  • whether you have a reasonable income to support yourself and your family
  • whether you have paid taxes in accordance with the law
  • whether you are of good character and sound mind
  • whether you have sufficient knowledge of the Chinese language
  • whether you intend to continue to live in Hong Kong in case your naturalisation application is approved
  • whether there are other legitimate reasons to support your application

How to Submit Your Application

The application should normally be made while you are in Hong Kong. You may submit the application forms, supporting documents and fee, in person or by post to:

Nationality Sub-section
Travel Documents and Nationality (Application) Section
Immigration Department
4th Floor
Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

If you are outside Hong Kong, you can send your application by post to the HKSAR Immigration Department at the above address or submit it in person to the nearest Chinese diplomatic and consular mission.

Application Forms

You can download the application forms and guide for applicants at the following links:

Local applications

Overseas applications

(These forms are also available from Chinese diplomatic and consular missions.)

Statement of Purpose for Data Collection

The personal data that you are asked to provide in the application form will be used by the Immigration Department for one or more of the following purposes:

  • To process your application for naturalisation as a Chinese national;
  • To administer the Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China and the “Explanations of Some Questions by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Concerning the Implementation of the Nationality Law of the People’s Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on 15 May 1996;
  • To administer/enforce relevant provisions of the Immigration Ordinance (Chapter 115); Immigration Service Ordinance (Chapter 331) and to assist in the enforcement of any other Ordinances and Regulations by other government bureaux and departments through carrying out immigration control duties;
  • To process other person’s application for immigration facilities in which you are named as a sponsor or referee;
  • For statistical and research purposes on the condition that the resulting statistics or results of the research will not be made available in a form which will identify the data subject or any of them; and
  • Any other legitimate purposes as may be required, authorised or permitted by law.

The provision of personal data in the process of your application is voluntary.  However, if you do not provide sufficient information, the Immigration Department may not be able to process your application.

The personal data you provided may be disclosed to government bureaux, departments and other organisations for the purposes mentioned above.

You have the right to request access to and correction of your personal data as provided for in sections 18 and 22 and Principle 6 of Schedule 1 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. Your right of access includes the right to obtain a copy of your personal data provided in the application form subject to the payment of a fee.

If you have any questions about the personal data collected, including access and corrections to it, please contact:

Chief Immigration Officer
Travel Documents and Nationality (Application) Section
Immigration Department
4th Floor, Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Telephone: (852) 2829 3093

 

Completing the Application Form

You should complete all parts of the application form that are applicable to you.  Items that are not applicable should be crossed out and signed by the person making the declaration.

There are some parts of the application form that will require your special attention.

Part 7 – Criminal record

You must give details of all convictions by a court of law in or out of Hong Kong of any crime or offence you have committed.

Part 10 – Near relatives

They should generally be your parents, spouse, child/children or sibling.  If your application is supported by a near relative, he or she must be:

  • a Chinese national who has the right of abode in Hong Kong; and
  • aged 18 or over.

Part 11 – Other reasons

You have to complete this part if you are not the near relative of a Chinese national who has the right of abode in Hong Kong or if you do not have the right of abode in Hong Kong. You will need to produce documentary proof at a later stage to support your reasons.

Part 12 – Declaration

After you have completed the application form, you should sign and date the declaration of your application to make it valid. If you are unable to sign, please impress your left thumbprint on the form. If you are aged under 18 on the date of application, a parent or legal guardian must sign the declaration.

Supporting Documents

(a) If you are aged 18 or above, the following documents and photocopies should be submitted upon application:

  • your Hong Kong identity card
  • your passport(s) or travel document(s) showing your travel records and length of residence in Hong Kong, or any of the following documents:
    • letters from your employers certifying the periods of your employment with them
    • letters from schools or other educational establishments showing the periods you attended
    • Tax returns or a letter from the Inland Revenue Department showing that you have paid taxes in the past years
    • any other document showing your residence in Hong Kong
  • proof of your relationship with the near relative who supports your application (if applicable), including proof of his or her Chinese nationality and right of abode in Hong Kong, such as a valid travel document and a Hong Kong permanent identity card
  • proof of your ‘other reasons’ if you have completed Part 11 of the application form

(if you cannot produce any of the above documents, please explain why)

(b) If you are under the age of 18, the following documents and photocopies should be submitted upon application:

  • your Hong Kong identity card
  • your passport(s) or travel document(s) showing your travel records and length of residence in Hong Kong or letters from schools or other educational establishments showing the periods you attended
  • proof of relationship with your parents or legal guardian, e.g., your birth certificate, parents' marriage certificate, court order granting guardianship (if your application is submitted by a legal guardian).
  • financial proofs of your parents or legal guardian e.g., tax returns
  • proof of your relationship with the near relative who supports your application (if applicable), including proof of his or her Chinese nationality and right of abode in Hong Kong such as a valid travel document and a Hong Kong permanent identity card
  • proof of your ‘other reasons’ if you have completed Part 11 of the application form

     (If you cannot produce any of the above documents, please explain why.)

If you submit your application by post to the HKSAR Immigration Department, only photocopies of the supporting documents should be sent with the application. You will be required to produce the original documents for verification afterwards.  If you are outside Hong Kong, you will have to provide the name and address of a local referee who will be contacted by the Immigration Department to produce the originals of the documents for verification.

If you submit your application in person to the Chinese diplomatic and consular missions, you will have to produce the original supporting documents for verification upon application.

Fee

(a) For applications submitted directly to the HKSAR Immigration Department

The application fee is HK$3,140. You are required to pay an initial fee of HK$1,570 at the time of application, and the balance of the application fee will be collected upon issue of the certificate of naturalisation subject to the proof of your not retaining foreign nationality. You should note, however, that the collection of fee does not constitute any guarantee or assurance that your application will be approved.

If you pay by cheque or bank draft, it should be crossed and made payable to ‘The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’.

For applications submitted by post from overseas, the bank draft should be drawn on a bank in the HKSAR in HK or US Dollars. Alternatively, you can provide the name and address of a local referee to pay the fee on your behalf after receiving notification from the Immigration Department.

The initial fee of HK$1570 is non-refundable in all circumstances.

 (b) Applications submitted through Chinese diplomatic and consular missions

      If you submit your application through a Chinese diplomatic and consular mission, you will be required to pay a handling charge and the expenses of forwarding your application to the HKSAR Immigration Department in addition to the application fee mentioned in paragraph (a) above.

The fee paid is non-refundable in all circumstances.

After Submission of Application

An acknowledgement will be given to you to acknowledge receipt of your application which was submitted in person, or sent by post if you applied through the mail. If you need to contact the Immigration Department about your application, please write to the Nationality Sub-section and give your application number, with your full name and date and place of birth.

The declaration in Part 12 of your application form includes an undertaking to inform the Director of Immigration in writing of any changes that may affect the accuracy of any information you provided in the application.  It is important to do this while your application is being considered.

If your application is successful, you will be issued with a certificate of naturalisation on payment of the balance of your application fee. The Director of Immigration may cancel a certificate of naturalisation if he is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the certificate was obtained by fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact. Action may be taken against that person in accordance with law.

Under the Chinese Nationality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance, decisions of the Director of Immigration on naturalisation applications cannot be subject to appeals, and there is no need to assign any reason for the decisions.

Changes in immigration status and foreign nationality if your application is successful

If your application for naturalisation as a Chinese national is approved, you cannot retain your foreign nationality. You will continue to enjoy the right of abode in Hong Kong as long as you remain as a Chinese national.

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